Road To Freedom | May 2016
Their Road to Freedom Starts with You
SNEAK PEEK: We’re excited to
share our new campaign with you before we roll it out later this week. We want to
reach new supporters for the thousands of vulnerable children poised to benefit
from the 2016 CDF Freedom Schools® summer program.
Research shows that only 48
percent of children living in poverty are ready to learn at age five, compared
to 75 percent of children from families with moderate and high incomes. Summer
learning loss makes that achievement gap grow larger each year.
Today, you can do something
about it. Help pave the way for our most vulnerable children to reach their
full potential. Join the Road to Freedom fundraising
Road to Freedom is a social
fundraising campaign for the CDF Freedom
Schools program to help vulnerable children in low-income communities
become local leaders. By becoming a fundraiser you can help more children on
their journey to Literacy, Leadership, and Social Advocacy . . . and toward
becoming your community’s best citizens!
Get started now and create your own Road to
Freedom fundraising campaign page today. Don’t want to start your own campaign? You can still contribute by making
a donation today.
Check it out, and please share your campaign
page with your family, friends and others in your community. Together we can
ensure all children know what freedom looks like.
CDF Freedom Schools® SUMMER KICK-OFF
National training is
fast approaching. Nearly 2,000 college students from 96 cities will converge at CDF Haley
Farm in Tennessee the end of this week to learn about servant leadership, how
to deliver the empowering Integrated Reading Curriculum and make learning fun.
CDF Haley Farm will be filled with cheers and chants, team-building classes and
an extraordinary group of speakers, teachers and trainers. This is all part of
the annual, transformational Ella Baker Child Policy Training Institute. Since
1995, we’ve trained more than 17,000 college students and recent graduates —
many have gone on to become teachers, principals, administrators and college
YOUTH SPOTLIGHT: Returning for the fifth year
in a row, Ella Baker Trainer Rashida Ford will kick off a new site sponsored
through her organization, Play on Purpose Inc. Children at this site will focus
on sports combining athletics, health and fitness with the literacy, leadership
and advocacy CDF Freedom Schools
model. We also have a special recognition for David Williams. He grew up going
to the CDF Freedom Schools program
and now that he’s in college is coming back as a Servant Leader Intern with the
Marlboro Country Freedom Schools. We are so proud of him for overcoming the
odds stacked against him, and giving back to help change the odds for others in
PARTNERS: We’re grateful to our strong
partners for their commitment to offer hope, opportunity and healthy meals to
needy children in their communities through the CDF Freedom Schools program. Learn
more about the CDF Freedom Schools
program and how you can get involved.
Creating a Diverse Teacher Pipeline
The CDF Freedom Schools® program is creating a diverse teacher pipeline for our children. A recent
State of Racial Diversity in the Education Workforce, from the U.S. Department
of Education and the department’s National Summit on Teacher Diversity held in
early May reaffirmed we still have a long way to go. Now nearly half of our
elementary and secondary school students are children of color, but a new
national survey of public school teachers and principals found only 18 percent
of the teachers and 20 percent of the principals were people of color. Secretary
of Education John King highlighted the importance of the CDF Freedom Schools program in creating that pipeline for a more
diverse education workforce in his opening remarks.
President Obama Appoints Marian Wright Edelman
week, President Barack Obama announced his intention to appoint CDF President
Marian Wright Edelman to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically
Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
We offer our congratulations to Mrs. Edelman, and to Phyliss Craig-Taylor, dean
of North Carolina Central School of Law; and Lillian Lowery, president and
CEO of FutureReady Columbus who will also be appointed. Read
how the Afro American covered this exciting news: Education Advocate Wright
Edelman Among Appointees to HBCU Advisory Board.
Philadelphia Moves Early Childhood Investments Forward
CDF President Marian Wright Edelman
spoke at a Philadelphia event this month sponsored by the William Penn
Foundation, as that city with the leadership of Mayor Jim Kenney seeks to offer
high-quality early childhood to all 3- and 4-year olds, enrolling the poorest
children first. The Mayor’s innovative approach to pay for it? He’s asking the City Council to approve a
three-cent-per-ounce sugar-sweetened beverage tax, noting that the health
rationale for the tax is strong, but it is the equity benefits that are most
important. Mrs. Edelman said, “This is a
very modest tax. It will make a huge difference in the lives of thousands of
children. This is an opportunity for Philadelphia to really shine and help us
start a domino effect.” Four cities fully engaged in universal pre-K were highlighted
at the event: Cleveland, Denver, New York City, and San Francisco. Many
echoed Mrs. Edelman’s call for pre-K as a key piece of a full continuum of
early childhood development and learning opportunities that must include
voluntary home visiting, child care, Early Head Start and Head Start, and
Pediatricians Combat Child Poverty
“Poverty is the most serious non communicable disease that
children have — and it’s the most common.” – Dr. Benard Dreyer, President,
American Academy of Pediatricians
Pediatricians are in a unique position to help poor
children, both in their practices and as trusted advocates for children. This month the Academic Pediatric Association
(APA) devoted an entire supplement
dedicated to child poverty in America, in their official journal Academic Pediatrics, to help empower
pediatricians, community and national leaders, policymakers, and advocates to
address child poverty now. CDF President Marian Wright Edelman
contributed a commentary sharing CDF’s proposed solutions that we know can and will reduce child poverty and
promote opportunity. CDF also applauds the American Academy of Pediatrics’
recommendation earlier this year for all pediatricians to ask about poverty and
basic needs in patient visits and to urge state and federal lawmakers to expand
existing housing, food, and health programs. America cannot afford not to end child poverty. Share CDF’s
blueprint for action report: Ending Child Poverty Now.
Rural Child Poverty
In 2014, nearly 25 percent of children in rural areas were poor, compared to about 21 percent in metropolitan areas. Two CDF State offices are working to change the odds for success for poor rural children in their states.
Renuka Mayadev, Executive Director of CDF-Ohio speaks
at the press conference for the report’s release.
A new report by CDF-Ohio paints a troubling picture of
the health and well-being of the children in Appalachia Ohio. Ohio's Appalachian Children at a Crossroads: A Roadmap for
The new report, follows up on a
ground-breaking one in 2001 and notes some positive change, but overall finds a
stark contrast in the well-being of the Appalachian children compared to those
in the rest of the state and much of the nation. Many health problems have
worsened or newly emerged and the percentage of children living in poverty in
the region has increased.
The report provides specific, actionable
recommendations to improve the lives of children and the region overall. Learn more about the work CDF-OH does to improve the lives of Appalachian children.
CDF-SRO two-generation participants attending a Financial Literacy Bootcamp.
Poor Families in Mississippi
In many rural areas high child poverty has existed for
decades — ending child poverty now takes a “two-generation” approach to create
opportunities for economically vulnerable children and their parents at the
same time. Gloria Shields, Program Associate and Benefits Bank Coordinator for
CDF-Southern Regional Office, is working to expand home visiting programs to
include working mothers and their economic needs and interests. “We have found
that having someone there to encourage, nudge, and connect the parents is part
of the secret sauce to helping families succeed,” said Oleta Fitzgerald,
Executive Director, CDF-SRO, “Thanks to Shields’ efforts, while children are
receiving high-quality early education, their moms are now working toward their
GED or taking college courses. In the long-term, these efforts will add up to
higher incomes for families and better outcomes for children who otherwise may
have fallen behind.” Learn more about the two-generation approach to addressing
rural poverty in this blog
post from the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group.
CDF-MN: Update on Family Paid Leave
From left to right: Governor Dayton, Senator Katie Sieben (chief Senate bill author), and
CDF-MN Executive Director Bharti Wahi
As one of three co-chairs leading the Minnesotans for Paid Family and
Medical Leave coalition, CDF-Minnesota is proud of the unprecedented progress
made in the 2016 Minnesota legislative session to advance a Paid Family and
Medical Leave insurance program, hopefully paving the way for its successful
passage in 2017. The legislation made
its way through six Senate committees and got out of the Senate, but passage
was blocked in the House, despite strong support from the community, the Senate
Majority Leader and both Governor Mark Dayton and his Lieutenant Governor Tina
2016 Beat the Odds® Scholars
This month CDF celebrated ten youths in Texas and Ohio with
Beat the Odds® scholarships. These youths have overcome tremendous adversity to
achieve academically, give back to their communities, and pursue their college dreams.
We are grateful to all who came out to support them as part of their caring
community of adults. Join us, as we applaud these extraordinary youth and
welcome them into the CDF family.
2016 CDF-Texas Beat the Odds Winners
2016 CDF-Ohio Beat the Odds Winners
Mark Your Calendars to Protect Children Not Guns
The Children’s Defense Fund is a partner for the 2nd
Annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
Please join us to help Protect Children, Not Guns by wearing orange on June 2nd to build awareness for gun
violence. CDF has our own Protect Children, Not Guns orange T-shirt for sale in
our online store. Order now, and if you pay for overnight shipping we’ll try to
get it to you in time for you to wear it June 2nd.
Register Now for New Strategies, Skills and Effective Models
The 22nd annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute
for Child Advocacy Ministry will provide a unique experience to leave you
informed, inspired, equipped, connected and ready to pursue justice for children from the sanctuary to the street. When
you join our Beloved Community you will hone your organizing skills, recommit
yourself to making a difference for children in your community, and most
importantly — recharge with an intergenerational, interracial, and culturally
diverse community of faithful child advocates. Make sure to check out this
year’s great preachers and speakers, and more than 20 workshops that will
strengthen your skills to better advocate for children in your community. Register